O'Reilly logo

Tactical Wireless Communications and Networks: Design Concepts and Challenges by George F. Elmasry

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

5.2 Link-16 Waveform

Link-16 is one of the most sophisticated wireless tactical data systems in use by the US Joint and Coalition Services. It supports time-critical, robust radio communications and is integrated into many platforms, including fast movers. Link-16 supports voice, free text, and variable format messages. It is a complex waveform that deploys TDMA (time division multiple access), CDMA, and FDMA (frequency division multiple access) schemes.

As a legacy waveform, Link-16 was conceived before the standardization of the protocol stack layers discussed in Chapter 1. The core functionalities of this waveform are in the physical and data link layers. Link-16's equivalent of the MAC layer (where the apportionment of physical layer resources is handled) is done in the planning phase. In this phase, each Link-16 terminal is assigned a set of time blocks. Also, instead of MAC frames and IP packets, a block of 75 bits (known as a J-word) is used for transmitting and receiving data over the Link-16 net.

Let us delve further into the unique physical and data link features of the Link-16 waveform. Figure 5.1 details the slot structure of Link-16. Figure 5.1a illustrates the 127 different possible nets in Link-16 (horizontal rings numbered 0–126, with net 127 representing a stacked net); with the vertical axis representing the FDMA dimension of the waveform (each of these nets has its own FH pattern). Figure 5.1b demonstrates how a single ring (net) employs TDMA, creating 98 304 ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required